Just as Salesforce has redefined the concept of CRM and what it can and can’t do for your business, the Salesforce App Exchange has redefined standards for the design of SaaS, and opened up a whole new way to add functionality to a system, and created a new channel for developers to try ideas and concepts on a smaller more practical scale. The Salesforce App Exchange is a major part of why Salesforce dominates the CRM market, in the face of big players like Microsoft, Sun and Apple trying their hardest to topple this previously unknown developer, to no avail. Pretty much any given function you wish Salesforce could do, which it does not do out of the box … there’s an app for it in the exchange, guaranteed. This exchange has moved Salesforce from being just CRM to being an all in one business solution to handle almost every aspect of your business if you want, which is one of the reasons its daunting price isn’t so daunting, as it eliminates other, expensive software suites through the cost-effective App Exchange. It’s insidiously brilliant, isn’t it? Well, let’s take a look at a couple of the current top players in this community, which exemplify why this has put Salesforce on top for so long, and probably for a long time to come. #1 – Marketo Given that, especially in the B2B marketing and correspondence worlds, email marketing and lead nurturing has gained a second wind that’s more of a hurricane, Marketo is something you really need to take a close look at. Offering email marketing and landing page creation tools with integration with existing record and lead field types within Salesforce, lead nurturing automation, and lead scoring and analytics, this is a really powerful way to get your CRM system to directly work with this powerful channel. With great support and a comprehensive knowledge base, if you want to use email marketing, and don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to manually sync this data with your CRM, then this has you covered. #2 – Hoopla Even the most stiff business professionals are grudgingly owning up to the fact that gamification, engagement and pizzazz in the workplace is productive and helpful. Shaking the old concept that utilitarianism and boredom are just the way work ought to be is at last happening on a large scale. In CRM, which affects marketing, customer service and sales, gamification is really good for improving motivation, increasing engagement, and reducing stress and tedium. Hoopla brings this to Salesforce with gusto, offering contest and competition creation based on any object or metric you want, realtime performance updates through live, sports-styled leaderboards and success broadcasts with custom animations and sounds on any display. Hoopla will light a fire under their butts, and in a good way. #3 – NetDocuments Everyone’s fallen in love with cloud-based document management and collaborative editing and sharing. Google pioneered this with their Drive system, but that means more of that intermediary transfer of documents into records for Salesforce to itemize, if you use Drive, right? NetDocuments takes care of that problem! Create some client-centric documents, workspaces, datarooms and vaults within any account in Salesforce. Easily and securely edit, view, email, approve, attach notices and log actions on any record and parallel document. If you need some great document functionality with the power of the cloud and the security of the likes of Drive, but don’t want to have to waste sweat off your brow to make these documents jive with your crucial CRM database, then NetDocuments is for you. These are just a few examples of the myriad of great designs which the Salesforce App Exchange has to offer. There are hundreds of apps for just about any imaginable need. With this kind of diversity, only getting bigger by the day, Salesforce isn’t a CRM system, it’s an everything system.